**I’m starting back up with Mindful Monday posts again. This time around I’ll be sharing old quotes I’ve had up on my Quoteboard in the past, including a posting a picture of the original. I’ll also discuss why these quotes influenced me back then, as well as how they still impact me today. Enjoy!**
“To accept the truth of my own brokenness is unbearable, if not impossible, without turning to Christ. If my vision of myself is not purified by the mercy and compassion of Jesus, I have to get dishonest, camouflage my warts and present to you a self that is mostly admirable, fault-free and superficially happy.” – Brennan Manning
I believe I first saw this Brennan Manning quote when I was going through his devotional, Reflections for Ragmuffins, a few years ago. What stood out to me then was this whole idea of putting on a mask and camouflaging my true self before others.
Because that is something I have always struggled with–wanting to people-please, wanting to appear “perfect and put-together” before those around me and not being truly honest about my emotions with others and with God (and even with myself at times).
I can really latch onto the whole idea of showing others a self that is admirable (who doesn’t want to be looked up to), fault-free (we all want to show the good and hide the bad), and superficially happy (this ties in with the whole “joyful Christian” trap we can fall into). But, as Brennan points out, living in such a way is dishonest and ultimately ends up hurting us in the long run as we become increasingly frustrated and isolated.
It’s taken awhile but I feel that over the years I’ve really tried to work hard on being open, honest and vulnerable before others, God and myself. As previously stated, this isn’t something that comes easily for me as hiding my “warts” is often my default mode. But, oh the freedom that comes from choosing to live broken before Jesus in my daily life!
Which brings me to the first part of the quote; it’s very hard to take a good look at the harder, uglier parts of ourselves without looking at these through the lens of God’s mercy and compassion for us. Because without this viewpoint we can easily become overwhelmed, weighed down and paralyzed by how we don’t measure up to our own or other’s ideals for us.
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
And this also makes me think of the following verse which comes directly after perhaps the most famous Bible verse of all, John 3:16:
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:17)
These show me how I can have hope in God’s great love, faithfulness, mercy and compassion for me, especially as seen through the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. And, based on these concepts, these verses really help cement in my mind the need for life of vulnerability for myself and others.
May we each seek to see ourselves today through this lens of truth about who we are and how God views us. And may this give us the courage to present our true and honest selves to the world around us, opening us up to the freedom and sweet relief brought about by such way of living.
**Today I’m linking up with Holley Gerth’s “Coffee for Your Heart.” Click on the image below to find other great posts in the linkup too**